Houston Texans 2014 NFL Betting Preview

In 2012 the Houston Texans were 12-4 straight up and 9-7 against the spread. Things came crashing down last season. The Texans were a league worst 2-14 in 2013, and went 4-12 against the number. To the surprise of nobody coach Gary Kubiak was shown the door following a week 11 loss against the Jaguars. Former Patriots offensive coordinator and Penn State coach Bill O’Brien was handed the reigns in January. With a new quarterback, a top draft pick, and a weak schedule, there is opportunity for O’Brien to take significant steps forward right away.

In 2012 the Houston Texans were 12-4 straight up and 9-7 against the spread. Things came crashing down last season. The Texans were a league worst 2-14 in 2013, and went 4-12 against the number. To the surprise of nobody coach Gary Kubiak was shown the door following a week 11 loss against the Jaguars. Former Patriots offensive coordinator and Penn State coach Bill O’Brien was handed the reigns in January. With a new quarterback, a top draft pick, and a weak schedule, there is opportunity for O’Brien to take significant steps forward right away.

Houston plays the third easiest schedule in the NFL this season though division rivals Tennessee and Indianapolis are deemed to have slightly better slates thanks in part to playing the Texans twice. Houston opens the season with five straight games against teams who failed to make the playoffs last year. Despite having five of their first eight games on the road, none of the five teams they visit qualified for last years postseason. In fact, the only playoff team they battle on the road all season is at Indianapolis on December 14. Their NFC crossover games feature the East which had only one team with a winning record last season. They play AFC North competition, another division that had just one squad better than .500 last year.

The Texans roster has premium talent mixed with question marks. Quarterback Matt Schaub was jettisoned to Oakland and fourth round draft pick Tom Savage was added. Case Keenum is still around while Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed and is likely to start the opener under center. Joe Mays, Earl Mitchell, Antonio Smith, Daryl Sharpton and Ben Tate are all gone. Number one overall draft pick Jadaveon Clowney leads a group of high end rookies including Xavier Su’a-Filo and Louis Nix. If Houston gets decent quarterback play, Arian Foster remains an elite ball carrier, and Andre Johnson is a weapon on the outside. J.J. Watt should only be made better by Clowney. Some pieces are clearly in place.

At 60-1 to win the Super Bowl, Houston has the exact same odds as San Diego, who won a playoff games last season. The Texans are 25-1 to capture the AFC, equal with Kansas City who also went to the postseason last year. With a new coach and QB combined with the upside of Clowney’s talent, a weak schedule, and a squad that won 12 games two years ago, there is reason for optimism.